Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Causing offence.

3rd February 2020

Hailing a taxi in New York, USA

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This is the normal procedure (way / method) to hail a taxi in NYC. However, this would not be acceptable in Bangkok.

Hailing a taxi in Bangkok

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Notice how the hand points down. In Thailand, people beckon (call) a dog with their hands up, so a taxi driver would think this was very impolite and rude. The driver would be offended; the hand signal would cause offence.

Cultural differences are one way of inadvertently causing offence. However, some people can say, write or do things that upset other people:

Image result for Trump offensive tweets

The 45th President is famous for his somewhat un-presidential tweets. He is referring here to the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-il:

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However, in the interests of fairness, North Korean leaders have made comments that could be offensive to the USA. The former leader, Kim Jong-un:

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And sometimes, within the same country, people can disagree with each. This is all part of a free society. The problem arises when people stop arguing the facts or beliefs, but start to attack people for their looks, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation. Some times, people can go too far in what they say:

Image result for offensive Morrissey quotes on china

This is the singer, and animal-rights supporter, Morrissey. He is talking about the treatment of animals in China, which he feels is intolerable. He can object. However, in this quote, he insults the entire country as seeming to be “a subspecies,” that is, not quite human. He makes his point, but do people understand his message, or get offended by his words ?

Vocabulary and expressions

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Collocation – to cause an offence

respect / disrespect (noun) – respectful / disrespectful (adjectives)

insult / offence (n) / / to offend (v) // offensive (adj)

doubt – when you are not sure about something but don’t think it will happen  (will England win the World Cup again ? I doubt it !)

swoop – to grab something quickly – a bird swoops down and grabs the bread.

Expression – to give someone the benefit of the doubt

Expression– in one swoop – something happening very quickly

Expression – to cut ties – to stop having contact with someone.

Practice:

I think Mr Smith took my iPhone but I didn’t see him. Therefore, I have to give him _____________

His comments were ________ to women.

John was talking to Jenny but Peter _____ in and took her away.

I had to __________________ with my colleague after he posted some racist tweets online.

Japanese students are famous for being so _____________ to their teachers. On the other hand, in Viet Nam, some students talk during class which is very ____________________ .

In Asia, it is the custom to show ________________ to old people.

Conversation practice

Time to use these new English words, speaking to each other.

Ask each other questions. Ask for more details (probe) Give full reasons. 

Make people explain their answers.

Use opinion expressions.

Which of these would cause offence ?

A supervisor calls you an idiot – but you know it’s a joke.

A supervisor calls you an idiot – but is serious.

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Your neighbour has a loud party but doesn’t invite you.

You are riding your bike and a taxi honks for no reason.

A foreigner says that your local food is terrible.

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A Chinese says that one day Viet Nam will be part of China again.

A restaurant manager shouts at you to leave as soon as you finish your food.

You buy your girlfriend a present … and she says it’s too cheap !

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Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Crime and punishment.

1st February 2020

Contents

Free speaking: Students’ personal experiences.

Listening practice: A non-native speaker talks about a crime.

Reading exercise: Sherlock Holmes

Vocabulary: exercises

Warm up game: Eyewitness

Crime and detection. Being an eyewitness. 

Crime and Punishment

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This is a famous book by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Give students five to ten minutes to research information about him, then present it to the class. This practises extracting relevant information. Reading verbatim from Wiki or other sites is forbidden !

Warm up game:

Eyewitness: Show students a slide or picture of three people for two minutes. Tell them that today some computers were stolen from the office and these people were seen. Ask them to describe the people they just saw. Prompt for as much detail as possible. This will test the students’ ability to use adjectives and learn new vocabulary from each other:

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Do you like detective shows ? Which are your favourites ?

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The above shows are from USA, UK & South Korea. Detective shows are popular all over the world. Even famous film directors can write detective novels:

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By the famous Indian director Satyajit Ray

An eyewitness account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RuFGkqYAL4

Look for new vocabulary and expressions – this is a Romanian man living in London.

FREE SPEAKING

Have you witnessed any crimes ? 

Image result for crime eyewitness

Vocabulary:

procedure / happened / suddenly / officially / relatively / contents / grabbed

I was walking with a friend along Main Street, around 4 in the morning. The street was ………….quiet, just some tourists and a little traffic. 

I was wearing a small bag, strung across my shoulder. A security guard was behind me, talking to a person in a car. …….., a motorbike came towards me on the pavement. He stopped, …………..my strap, then drove away.

Naturally, I shouted but it was too late; he was gone. My friend was worried but I told her it was OK, nobody was hurt. The ………of the bag were really worthless: pens, some medicine, a book, but also my designer glasses.

The security guard was comical in his incompetence. He shook his head, mouth open wide, and said, “It all ………. so quickly, there was nothing I could do.” 

I should, …….. , have reported it to the police, that was the ……….. but people told me the thief would never be found. What I learnt from this unfortunate experience was to be very careful and never walk around with valuables.

Could you be a good eyewitness ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6fRH5MLBIU

What information is helpful to the police ? (1.46 – 1.50)

Detective story: 

type of popular literature in which a crime is introduced and investigated and the culpritis revealed.

The traditional elements of the detective story are: 

(1) the seemingly perfect crime; 

(2) the wrongly accused suspect at whom circumstantial evidence points;

(3) the bungling of dim-witted police; 

(4) the greater powers of observation and superior mind of the detective .

(5) the startling and unexpected , in which the detective reveals how the identity of the culprit was ascertained.

Detective stories frequently operate on the principle that superficially convincing evidence is ultimately irrelevant.

The first detective story was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in April 1841.

The greatest of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, along with his loyal companion Dr. Watson, made his first appearance in Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle’s novel A Study in Scarlet (1887) and continued into the 20th century in such collections of stories as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) and the longer Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).

Image result for edgar allan poe murders in the rue morgue
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Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

New Vocabulary Practice:

What is the ……… for reporting a crime. (noun)

Most of what we learnt on the first day was ………… (adj)

His wife ……….. (verb) him of eating the cake but the real ….. (noun) was the dog !

Jet Mart had two cases of Tiger beer boosted (stolen). In Mr Wall’s house, there were two cases of Tiger beer but, his lawyer defended, this is not proof, merely ……….. …………….

Reading exercise: 

An extract from a Sherlock Holmes short story: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/AdveDanc.shtml#2

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: War Museum, Sai Gon

28th January 2020

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War Remnants Museum

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Formerly the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum is consistently popular with Western tourists. Few museums anywhere convey the brutal effects of war on its civilian victims so powerfully. Many of the atrocities documented here were well-publicised but rarely do Westerners hear the victims of US military action tell their own stories. While some displays are one-sided, many of the most disturbing photographs illustrating US atrocities are from US sources, including those of the infamous My Lai Massacre.

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US armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons are on display outside. One corner of the grounds is devoted to the notorious French and South Vietnamese prisons on Phu Quoc and Con Son Islands. Artefacts include that most iconic of French appliances, the guillotine, and the notoriously inhumane ‘tiger cages’ used to house Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists; VC) prisoners.

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The ground floor of the museum is devoted to a collection of posters and photographs showing support for the antiwar movement internationally. This somewhat upbeat display provides a counterbalance to the horrors upstairs.

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Even those who supported the war are likely to be horrified by the photos of children affected by US bombing and napalming. You’ll also have the rare chance to see some of the experimental weapons used in the war, which were at one time military secrets, such as the flechette, an artillery shell filled with thousands of tiny darts.

Upstairs, look out for the Requiem Exhibition. Compiled by legendary war photographer Tim Page, this striking collection documents the work of photographers killed during the course of the conflict, on both sides, and includes works by Larry Burrows and Robert Capa.

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A photograph by Robert Capa

The War Remnants Museum is in the former US Information Service building. Captions are in Vietnamese and English.

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Questions

1 What was the museum formerly called ?

2 Why is this museum different for western visitors ?

3 What can be seen outside the museum ?

4 Where were the French & South Vietnamese prisons ?

5 What can be seen on the ground floor ?

6 What is a ‘flechette’ ?

7 Name some famous war photographers.

8 In what languages are the captions ?

My friend Ms Quynh watching a film in the Museum cinema.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 4

27th January 2020

Contents

Adverbs

Conversation practice

Vocabulary practice

Conversation practice

Image result for slow computer


Slow computers

A: My laptop is so slow.
B: Buy a new one.
A: I would if I had the money.
B: Why is it so slow?
A: That’s a good question.
B: Did you take it to a computer shop?
A: I would if I had the money.
B: Well, I guess you have to live with it.
A: Sometimes I want to throw it out the window. wanna
B: You don’t want to do that.
A: Why not?
B: You might hit someone on the head.

Re-write but with smart phone instead of ‘laptop.’

Image result for being broke no money

Being a bit short – not having much or enough money.

A:Can I borrow £5? quid 
B: Sure. Why do you need it?
A: I want to buy lunch.
B: Where’s your money? [Pronunciation: Wheres yah monnnee ?]
A: It’s not in my wallet.
B: Your wallet is empty?
A: I don’t have even one quid in it.
B: Being broke is no fun. [Broke = having no money]
A: Even if it’s only for a short while.
B: It’s always good to have friends.
A: Friends will lend you money when you’re broke.
B: As long as you pay them back.

Write a similar dialogue but with different situations.

Vocabulary practice:

Look up the meaning of these words and expressions, then see how they’re used in the following dialogue.

ubiquitous / incessant / loquacious / laconic 

malodorous / euphoria (euphoric) / sick (unwell, ill)

truly / rather / somewhatquid / brokeyou what ?

Let me shuffle through my memory 

run into / put up with / fun-filled / throughout the city 

that’s a good question / this is the worst ….. in the world !

A You’ll never guess who I ran into last night.

B Who ? I was up to my eyes in work.

A Ms Cam. It was rather a surprise. I haven’t seen her for ages.

B Ms Cam ? Let me shuffle through my memory… oh, yes.

A Remember ? She was somewhat laconic at work, but after beer …

B Absolutely ! She doesn’t shut up ! I had to put up with her stories.

A Same thing last night. Nothing changes. But it was a fun-filled night

B Where’d you take her ? Anywhere fancy ?

A We started at a street bar but it was malodorous, so we took off.

B She drinks like a fish, I recall. What happened ?

A Hmmm … that’s a good question ! I had a few too many.

B That explains it – you look a bit sick. Did you drink cocktails ?

A Oh, did we ! This is the worst hangover in the world !

Image result for worst hangover

TRY to make your own conversation using some of the new vocabulary and expressions.

Ideas: buying something / wanting to go someone / having a bad day

Activity: Plan a day out for my friends.

I have two friends arriving in HCM( or your city). They want a typical, authentic experience. Plan a day for them. It must include:

Thay Paul with Tina and Michael.
  • Breakfast
  • A museum
  • Somewhere for a snack
  • An interesting building or location
  • Lunch
  • Souvenir shopping
  • Something to do in the evening

Give tips and advice. 

How do they travel around ? 

What are their options and estimate the prices.

Try to use as much new vocabulary as possible, words and expressions.

Directions to Pham Ngo Lao Street District 1 // Directions to a city centre street.

Ask for help. Other must offer as much help – how to get there, the best way, the price, the dangers. Body language – distance, expression, intonation, eye contact etc

Also back channelling. Nod your head, say, “Sure,” “Right.” “Oh, really ?”

Small talk …. Try to talk for as long as possible – then change subjects:

your home town / your favourite holiday / a great place to visit in your city / some great things about children / some terrible things about your city / family / favourite hobby.

Past simple/ past continuous

Look at the house map – say where you were last night and what you were doing

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EXAMPLE: I was on the balcony, watering my plants.

I was in the bedroom, …………………

Famous for 15 minutes

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Pretend you are famous – your partner will interview you on: 

Sai Gon Today ! A live chat show from your work or school !

FIRST – why are YOU famous – what do you like doing best ?

Think of 6 questions. Examples:

When did you start ? When did you win your first award ? What was it like travelling to USA ? What are your plans for the future.

Who else works in a TV studio ? What equipment do we need to make a show ?

Adverbs of degree

very / so / extremely / = high, a lot

quite / somewhat = moderate / medium

Tokyo is ……….. expensive, while for Vietnamese people, Thailand can be ……………. expensive.

The test was …………….. (medium) difficult.

I ……… liked the film, but the book was better, it was …………….. good.

Free Speaking

Have you ever thought about trying or learning something new ?

Do you want to take up a new sport ? Start up a new business ?

Join up for a club ? Learn a new skill ?

Try to use some of the following phrases:

The job is repetitive ? It can be somewhat tedious.

Working everyday can have a negative effect on our health.

I feel it is not suitable for me. I am not suited to it.

My background is in engineering; I have no experience in business.

I may regret it if I don’t try – but it is a risk. Always a risk because it may be unsuccessful – it may fail.

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Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Health

27th January 2020

Contents

Cigarette smoking

Dialogue: going to the gym

Health and exercise: speaking practice.

Vocabulary: sports / injuries / equipment.

Health and exercise

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Do you exercise ? How regularly ? What do you do ? Do you go to a gym ?

Can people stay fit without going to a gym ? How … what can they do ?

What are some common ailments ? What keeps you off work ?

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Exercise machines

Vocabulary:

cardiovascular / About the heart and blood vessels

abdominal / Stomach or belly

upper-body / Torso or chest

muscles / Tissues in body for movement

Coordination / Using different parts of the body together

quadriceps / Large muscle at front of thigh

1. The Treadmill

The treadmill burns the most calories of any of the cardiovascular machines available at most gyms. You can expect to burn about 100 calories per mile, walking briskly.

A treadmill can be adapted to many different fitness levels by increasing the speed from walking to running or by adjusting the incline.

2. Rowing Machines 

Don’t be fooled into thinking this machine gives you only an upper-body workout. Rowers are more advanced cardiovascular machines.

Because you must push with the legs while you pull with the arms, rowers require coordination. They also you require you to engage your core abdominal muscles to support and protect your back.

3 Leg-extension machine

Pushing weights up with your legs, exerting your quadriceps in the process.

You can do this every day as a post-workout routine or 3 times a week when you are concentrating on lower body/legs

Which pieces of equipment do you use ?

How often do you use them ? What are they for ?

Exercise Bike
Pec Deck Machine
Leg Press Machine
Abdominal Bench
Dumb bells
Handgrip exerciser 

Dialogue exercise

Andy: Hello ! How are you ?

Gina: Great, thanks … and yourself ?

Andy: Very well, thank youhowever,I need to keep fit. Can you help me ?

Gina: Sure, how can I help ?

Andy: What exercise is good for the heart ?

Gina: Any cardiovascular machine.

Andy: Can you give me an example ?

Gina: A treadmill for example. That is very good for the heart.

Andy: Do you use one ?

Gina: Sometimes, but I prefer to walk or jog in the park.

Andy: Great idea ! What can I do for upper-body strength ?

Gina: Rowing machines are very good. They help with the abs, as well.

Andy: “Abs” ?

Gina: Abdominal muscles … stomach or belly. { muss-cells }

Andy: Yes, I admit, I really need that. Is the gym far ?

Gina: No, it’s here in District 3, about 10 minutes away.

Andy: How do we get there? By taxi ?

Gina: No, we jog ! Shall we go tomorrow ?

Andy: Absolutely ! Oh, wait … I am busy. Can we reschedule?

Gina: Ok. When ?

Andy: Maybe next week. I’ll post a messageonline when I’m free.

Gina: Good idea, but remember … once you pay the gym, they don’t give refunds.

Collocations: post a message / give refunds / get there

Linking words: however / for example 

Image result for chinese exercise in the park

Vocabulary:

pulled a muscle / sprain / torn a ligament / strain / took a knock

I need to get in shape / I’ve let myself go / I’m taking up a new sport

warm up / stretch / set my own pace / beat my own record

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You want to get fit. Work in small groups to suggest ways and possible sports. 

  1. Is any equipment needed ? 
  2. What advise can you offer ? 
  3. What are the pitfalls (dangers) ?

Football– boots – football kit (shirt and shorts and, naturally, socks) gloves if you play in goal (goal-keeper / goalie). Not forgetting a ball and maybe a spare.

A referee (ref) needs a loud whistle, special kit, a stop watch, yellow and red card, also a small notebook and pen. 

Professional referees nowadays require a headset and ear-piece. A new innovation is the spray-can. 

Linesmen– referee’s assistants ( who carry flags) and the fourth referee. 

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Cigarette Advertisement

What do these two adverts show ?

Are these adverts positive or negative ?

What are the pros and cons of smoking ?

How do they affect health / finances / appearance / other people ?

Talk about the effects of smoking, using as many words or phrases as you can:

wrinkles / passive-smoking / save money / anxiety / asthma / lungs cancer / heart disease / second hand smoke / bad breath / yellow stains / pregnant / blood pressure / expensive / addiction / colds and flu 

Asking questions about an issue

What do you feel about … ?

How do you feel about passive smoking ? (what do you think about passive smoking ?)

What can be done to address this issue ? (What can people do to stop this problem ?)

What’s your take on …. ? (more informal: ‘take’ means view, opinion or experience). What’s your take on pregnant women who smoke ?

Vocabulary builder

World Health Organisation No Tobacco Day 31stMay

Image result for no tobacco day

raise awareness – to make people know more about something

health risks – dangers to health

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 3.

26th January 2020

Contents

Conversation practice: favourite possessions.

Small talk

Vocabulary booster

Small talk

Image result for talk about the weather

This is polite conversation, to pass the time, or to get to know some basic information about people. Do not ask anything too personal; this will differ from culture to culture, but in the UK and the west in general:

DO NOT

Ask why someone is not married or has no children.

Ask how much money they earn, get from their job.

Ask how much something cost. “I like your shirt. How much was it ?”

Talk about politics. “You’re from China ? Chairman Mao was a disaster !”

PLAY IT SAFE – talk about music, football, food or … in the UK … the weather.

Very warm for this time of year.

Did you see …….. last night ? (the football game, the news etc)

How long have you worked here ?

The traffic was so bad this morning.

What team do you support ?

Echo questions 

John: I can speak German. Peter: Can you ?

Bella: Ms Nguyen went to Thailand. Carole: Did she ?

Bill: He likes K-pop. Harry: ______________ ?

We are going to the pagoda later. ______________ ?

Ms Thinh has a new job.______________ ?

Conversation Practice

Talk about: 

house prices in your city / why you have or don’t have a pet 

Image result for strange pets

an interesting program you saw recently

What you want to do in the future. / Somewhere you would love to visit.

Keep conversations going:

I see / Do you really think so ? /

That’s good point / I hadn’t thought of that 

Oh, that’s interesting/ Yeah, right ! / Sure / OK May I just add something ? /

Oh, where is that exactly ?

Speaking Practice – use discourse markers to extend your speaking and to link ideas.

Describe something you own which is very important to you. 

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You should say: 

where you got it from how long you have had it what you use it for and explain why it is important to you. 

  • You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. 
  • You can make some notes to help you if you wish. 

Rounding off questions 

  • Is it valuable in terms of money? 
  • Would it be easy to replace? 

This could be a physical object, a memento with sentimental value, or an abstract noun such as health, happiness etc 

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For my Vietnamese students:

How different is Vietnam from other Southeast Asian countries?

What do you think Vietnam will be like 50 years from now?

What do you think Vietnam’s neighbours think of you ?

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The future of Vietnam ?

Vocabulary booster

You have to use these words:

obviously / consequently / notwithstanding / therefore / speculate

We can only (guess) on what will happen in the future

The student did no work __________ he failed the exam.

It rained several days. That fact ____________ (despite), we still had a good holiday.

If you visit Canada in winter, _________ (of course) you will need jumpers, coats and gloves.

Expressions:

cultural differences / one can only imagine / putting myself in their shoes

There are many _____________________ for Asian students who go to study in the USA.

It can be hard learning English. Many students have to work all day. I try ___________________ and seeing what I can do to make the lessons more interesting.

Being a celebratory isn’t always fun; always having your photo taken. ___________________ what it must be like.

Try using these expressions:

There is so much work, I just can’t take it anymore !

A plague on both your houses ! (from ‘Romeo & Juliet’, Shakespeare)

Are you serious ? What possessed you to come up with such a stupid idea ?

I’m speechless … the film was just so moving and emotional; I’m almost in tears.

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He’s speechless !

Discourse markers: Try to learn new words / expressions here to help you link idea.

Use these words: First, find the meaning for yourself, then use them in a sentence. After, try to use them in your everyday English.

Practice, practice, practice …

For instance / conversely / above all / alternatively / similarly / therefore as revealed by

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There are many things I enjoy about writing this blog, for instance receiving notes and likes from people all over the world.

For a case in point, I see I have some readers in Nepal, so, just for them:

Image result for hello nepal

Adult Speaking Class, level 3, Part 2.

26th January 2020

Contents

Sentence order – exercises for you to practice rearranging the words in a sentence to make your English more interesting. This is especially useful for IELTS students.

Vocabulary – a feature just on boosting your command of the English language, and finding higher, or better, low-frequency words for basic English.

Vocabulary

Image result for asian girl with thesaurus

Objectives:

Increase vocabulary. The average native-speaker uses about 2 000 words. You can boost your vocabulary by learning verbs, adverbs and adjectives which can be easily found by a Google search. Also, use an online thesaurus.

Speak in longer sentences. Say what you want to say (make your point), then elaborate by giving examples, adding reasons and maybe an anecdote. Along with this, give the opposite view by using conjunctions such as ‘however’, ‘on the other hand’ etc.

Pronunciation. Many native speakers have a problem understanding English learners, so we will practise slow and careful enunciation, intonation and stress.

New vocabulary:

Look up any words you don’t know.

demonstrate / protest / gripping / predictable/ disappointing / media / 

excessive/ biased / appropriate / opponent / in opposition to / beat / currently / not my cup of tea 

hold your horses / debate / borrow / lend / expect / lease / terrible

Which words would you employ / use ?

Brazil beating Costa Rica was ……..

This film is extremely violent, it’s not ………. for children.

The politicians are ………. the issue of land-………. to the Chinese.

You can ……. money from a bank, but they …… it at a high interest rate.

The match was so ………… However, Spain – Portugal was ………

The man said Ha Noi was the best city, but he is from there so he is ……….

People were on the streets ………. and ………… against higher taxes.

The man went to prison for forty years just for littering. That was ………….

I haven’t finished yet, ……………………..

TV, radio, internet news and newspapers are called the ……..

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New vocabulary:

aggravate – to make worse

tensions – bad feelings

keep a lid on it – stop something getting worse, or not to tell someone. We’ve got a new boss coming, but keep a lid on it (don’t tell anyone).

set up – start to do something. Fred is going to set up a new business.

knock out – (from boxing) to hit someone so they fall and stay down for 10 seconds

  • to eliminate someone / thing
Image result for henry cooper knocks out ali

Historically (adverb from history) – something that has happened over a long time.

They are currently ——– between China and Vietnam. This is nothing new as —— the two countries have had conflicts.

The government are introducing policies to ———— on inflation (prices rising).

President Trump visited North Korea to ease ——- between the two countries. He must be careful what he says or he may ———— the situation.

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England have ———– Colombia so I am ———(a great word for happy). However, the greatest shock was Germany being ———— at the group stage.

Image result for england colombia world cup

The coverage in the Chinese media is not impartial, it is unbelievably ——— . However, this is nothing new; the media is the USA is also ———- towards either the left or right.

Image result for biased chinese news
Image result for fox news meme

Project: Look at these headlines from the UK media. Could they happen in your country ?

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A story about the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, and a sex scandal.

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A left-wing paper writing about a right-wing Prime Minister.

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Calling the England football manager a ‘turnip-head’.

Changing sentence order:

John read comic books as a boy. As a boy, John read comic books.

Mary sent two emails then went home. Mary went home after sending two emails.

Try changing these:

Watt worked as a maker of mathematical instruments but later found himself working with steam engines.

If we had to give credit to one inventor, it would probably be Karl Benz from Germany. Many suggest that he created the first true automobile in 1885/1886.

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Japan’s high speed bullet trains, also known as Shinkansen trains, offer visitors an experience like no other with speeds reaching up to 320 km/hr !

Image result for shinkansen
Image result for james watt steam engine

James Watt and the steam engine.

Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6

25th January 2020

Contents

Grammar: Modal verbs

Listening practice: Life in Japan

Project work: What to do in Tokyo

Speaking practice: Classroom activity / Just A Minute

Listening practice:

Life in Japan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwg5-YY4pdg

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New vocabulary, expressions, listening to accents.

Listen out for:

‘you guys’ (US), omg (oh my god), screwed up, really cool cafes, despite, strict

Check her grammar – any mistakes ?

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Listening for information

This clip ‘7 Cool things to do in Tokyo’ has a lot of practical information.

Write down as much as you can – try without subtitles.

Include prices, opening times, locations etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3enIWRJtHQ

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Project:

You have three days in Tokyo; what would you choose to do ?https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-things-to-do-in-tokyo

Image result for amazing things in tokyo
Image result for amazing things in tokyo

Grammar

Modal verbs. When to use:

can / could / have to / may /must

ought to / should / will

Permission /Possibility / Obligation

Request / Speculation / Suggestion

Can I get a bus to the city centre from here ? Is it possible ?

Can you hit the lights, please ? request – turn on/off the lights

Who’s that ? It could be Peter. Speculation

You have to get over 60% or Thay Paul will KYA (kick your ass !) Obligation

Oh, you must see the new Iron Man film. Suggestion

Will you help me with my tieng Viet ?  Request

May I go to the party ? Permission

You musn’t use your phone when riding a motorbike. Obligation

You ought to stop drinking so much coffee. Suggestion

You should all read English books. Suggestion

Exercises:

….. I use my mobile phone in class ? Asking permission

You ………. answer all three questions. Obligation

It’s too heavy; …… you help me lift it ?

Don’t wait too long – he ……. not come.

… I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?

Speaking Practice

This activity makes students speak English to each other, exchanging information and giving them practice in taking down facts such as dates, phone numbers etc.

Arrange class into small groups and give them each an information sheet. They take turns reading aloud to their group, using natural rhythms and intonations.

It’s highly probable that other students will not understand all, so they must use some of the following phrases:

I’m sorry, could you repeat that, please.

I didn’t catch your phone number.

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

How do you spell that ?

Let me confirm, your name is …

Speaker One:

Hello, I’m calling from Los Angles and I want to know what time does your office open ? I’m arriving on the 10th July so can you meet me at the airport ? My cell is 555 – 0743 – 9291. Also, can you recommend a good hotel downtown ?

Speaker Two:

Hi, this is Mr Muller from the Berlin office. We are waiting for your design for the Audi components. Could you email them as soon as possible. We have an important presentation on the 12th so we need them. 

Speaker Three:

Hello, I’m looking for … Mr nnngggg yyyyyuun ?? Sorry, I cannot pronounce Vietnamese. This is Jack Ginsberg from the Beijing factory. We cannot meet your order by the deadline. We need at least three more days. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Speaker Four: 

London calling, this is Mr Thompson for Mr Thanh. We need to rearrange the time of our conference Skype call. We must bring it forward to 11 o’clock your time. Hope that is not an issue. Any problems, give me a bell on my office number or drop me an email.

Speaker Five

My doctor told me to cut down on fast food and to cut out alcohol completely. I also have to hit the gym, go swimming and take up a sport. I tried jogging but I gave up, it was too damn hot. My girlfriend is always on at me to loose weight.

Speaker six:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

Shakespeare ‘As You Like It’ Act 2, Scene 7

Just A Minute

Can you speak for a minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition ?

Students work in pairs, using a stopwatch. One student has to speak for one minute on a subject but must not repeat information, take too long to answer or to speak about different subjects.

school or work / local food / Asian women / great things about your city / bad things in your city / your family / your hometown / free time

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Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6

24th January 2020

Contents

Dialogue: speaking practice with phrasal verbs.

Listening Practice: Vietnamese speaking English // Vietnamese urban legends

Vocabulary: agreeing to an extent

Writing exercise: condensing text (‘1001 Nights’)

Listening Practice

Vietnamese culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBAi_b__l_c

Image result for weird vietnamese customs

Do you agree with the video ? To what extent ?

BONUS: can you spot any English mistakes ?

I agree totally / I agree to an extent // I disagree // I disagree strongly

She makes a good point // She misses the point

She is spot on // She is way off // In my experience …

wierd = unusual / strange

Now, your turn. Do you agree with these statements:

Learning English is so important if you want a good job.

People who drink and drive should go to prison.

An African football team will win the World Cup before 2040.

Nobody should have to work more than 25 hours a week.

Men and women should earn the same money for doing the same job.

New Vocabulary / expressions

looking up = getting better (things are looking up).

Since we got a new manager, things are looking up.

Match the basic words on the left with words on the right, then complete the sentences with the right-hand words:

interesting // intelligent

on time // fascinating

forgetful // miserable

tired // punctual

smart (clever) // exhausted

unhappy // absent-minded

John forgot his keys again; he’s so _________

The documentary about ocean life was __________

Tony has been very ____________ since his girlfriend left him.

It would be incredible if Vietnamese students could be __________

EXTRA:

ubiquitous = everywhere. In Viet Nam, coffee shops are ubiquitous.

incessant = never ending. The karaoke noise is incessant.

rewarding = doing something that makes you feel better about yourself. Nursing doesn’t pay much but it is tremendously rewarding.

Image result for asian nurse

Creating sentences

Use these new adjectives with some of these nouns:

coffee shops / motorbikes / Vietjet / construction work / German trains

charity work / AI (artificial intelligence) / swimming / British weather

Meaning, pronunciation, structure

What is happening here?

I am thinking about a holiday.

Meaning: Am I having a holiday ? Where will I go ? Is it certain ? Alone / with friends ?

Pronunciation: In speech, we would contract “I am” to I’m and link “abouta

Structure: What tense is being used … why ? Will it happen ?

Try these: Make as many questions / possibilities as possible

He’s having his car repaired

She having a dress made

He looked at a new apartment

My cousin will be applying for universities

I’m not sure about taking the new job.

Image result for car being repaired

Urban legends

stories that maybe aren’t true but people believe them

[urban = city // rural = countryside // haunted = a place with ghosts ]

Ten scary Vietnamese urban legends:

Project: Do you know any of these tales / legends ?

Do you know any other Vietnamese legends ?

Have you even been to the places in HCM City ?

Writing exercise

Image result for scheherazade

Painting by Ferdinand keller ‘Scheherazade und Sultan Schariar’ (1880).

1001 Nights

The main frame story concerns Shahryār ruling in “India and China”. He is shocked to learn that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering that his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her killed. 

In his bitterness and grief, he decides that all women are the same. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. 

Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. 

On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. This goes on for 1,001 nights.

This is quite a long introduction; how could you reduce it to three sentences ?

Some stories in English can be found here: http://www.storynory.com/category/fairy-tales/1001-nights/

Image result for arabian nights book
Image result for arabian nights book illustrations

Dialogue

Speaking practice:

Mark At last ! Can’t you be punctual just once in your life !

Craig I’m here now, aren’t I ? You look so miserable, why are you fed up ?

Mark I need some coffee. Where can we get some ?

Craig Anywhere, coffee shops are ubiquitious here. What the hell ?

Mark What’s up now ? Your complaining is incessant ! 

Craig My money got all soggy ! I have to put up with so much.

Mark Oh, get over it ! Some people have no money. Do you help charities ?

Craig It sounds rewarding but after work I’m too exhausted !

Mark You are just talk. Put up or shut up !

Image result for two men bickering

IELTS: Hello, India

24th January for 30th January 2020. IELTS Bands 4 – 5.5 Unit 7

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Firstly, a big hello to all my readers and followers in India. Yesterday I had over fifty visits from students from the sub-continent and I want you all to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog. Thank you so much.

My Indian friends – what is the standard of behaviour in your classrooms ? In my centre, in Sai Gon, Vietnam, we have to employ classroom management (normally reserved for ‘young learners’) to adults. Namely, we have to continually tell the class:

No mobile / cell-phones in the classroom UNLESS it has been sanctioned by the teacher for educational purposes.

No eating, chewing gum, slurping drinks

NO CHATTING WHILE THE TEACHER IS TALKING. THE TEACHER IS HERE TO HELP YOU. FURTHERMORE, IN MOST CULTURES, THIS IS UNBELIEVABLY RUDE AND UNACCEPTABLE.

Take notes, write down new words, practice using them

The teacher is here to help YOU learn. We are not here to entertain you.

These are not MY rules – they are the rules of the centre. If you cannot abide by them, then stop coming to class, stop wasting everyone’s time and money.

Let’s leave the last word to Uncle Ho, bác hồ:

I'm very moved to be here today, ... Our lives are now much better, but Vietnam remains a very poor country. We need to work much harder. - Ho Chi Minh

Understand, my Vietnamese classes ? Even Uncle Ho says you,

“need to work much harder.”

And now, without further ado, a warm up exercise to see how much the class has remembered from the last lesson … if anything.

Firstly, complete these phrases and then use them in sentences:

over the ______ // under the ________ // under ________ // more or ________

I’m over the …… because I passed my IELTS test.

Ms Linh is not here, she’s feeling under ………..

The class understood the video, more ……..

So many tests at school, the pupils were under ………

Secondly, what do these words mean, the make a short sentence using them:

absent-minded / jovial / reside / miserable / attain

Image result for Indian culture

I shall try to incorporate some teaching points about India in this blog which, although written before the Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday), is for next week.

The above sentence is an example of the type of English that is expected in order to pass the IELTS exam. As you can plainly see, it isn’t too difficult; I inserted a low-frequency word (‘incorporate‘), used a relative pronoun (‘which‘) in order to make the sentence longer and more fluent, then employed a discourse marker (‘although‘) to link contrasting ideas together in a coherent sentence.

To recap, what you will need to use in both writing and speaking are:

adjectives (but not just the most basic, common ones)

adverbs

low-frequency vocabulary

complex sentences (introduce extra information in supporting clauses)

stress and intonation

Adjectives: describe what you see here:

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Try these adjectives:

exotic / mysterious / exquisite / captivating / enchanting

Sentence building: Talk fluently and coherently.

Compare and contrast:

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Does this look like YOUR city ? What is similar, what is noticeably different ?

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A typical commute to work ?

Vocabulary building and listening

In the real world, most students will not be communicating with English-language teachers, but probably with other non-native speakers, so learning to appreciate and understand English spoken with a ‘new’ accent is an extremely useful skill. Here’s a great video which features a charming young Indian lady teaching new vocabulary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKUxuD0m5A8

New Vocabulary:

Instead of using ‘very’ + adjective (I am very tired), use a single word:

Try to use ‘sagacious’, ‘exquisite’, ‘colossal’ and ‘spacious’

The classrooms in Block D are ……….. (big)

The furnishings are perfect, they are ……….

Building an underground train network is a ………… undertaking

The old man was ………. People came to him for advise.

This is also a listening skills exercise. 

  • Do you have any problems understanding her ? Why ?

What to do in India

The American foodie and blogger Mark Wiens travelled to Kolkata: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvNdOJMDMyQ

Image result for mark wiens in india

Listen for at least five words you didn’t previously know. In small groups ask each other:

What impressed you ? What disturbed you ? Would you like to go there ? If so, why, if not, why not ?

Here is a chance to practice adjectives, linking words and using the word ‘because’ – giving reasons, supporting your comments.

Famous Indians

In small groups, you have to make a short presentation about one of these famous Indians:

Image result for famous indian people
Mahatma Gandhi
Image result for famous indian siddharta buddha
Siddharta – the Buddha
kalpana chawla
Kalpana Chawla

The class have five to ten minutes to research information, speed read and extract relevant facts with which to enlighten the class. Simply reading straight from Wikipedia is not permitted.

And now, goodbye from this mysterious, exotic land. Hope to meet you very soon …

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